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If you are looking for some kind of magic solution, there really aren’t any. But there are a combination of things that can make your home a standout from the others competing for that buyer.

1. Home is priced right. Don’t ignore the market analysis. Also, don’t use the rationale that you will start high and then lower the price if you don’t get any offers. Price the home realistically from the start. Why? Because a new listing always gets extra attention in the first two weeks on the MLS.

2. Home is “ready to show.” Making certain your home is clean and free of clutter is extremely important for positive first impressions. Fix things that need fixing–think people won’t notice? You’re wrong– if there is a problem with something they can see, they are wondering what all is wrong that is hidden from view.

3. Home has an incentive or enticement. Some examples of attention-getters: top-of-the-line appliances or maybe just one “wow” appliance or a new flat-screen TV.

One Realtor said, “It’s not just a price war, but also a beauty contest.”   More tips for sellers.


There’s a bill in the U.S. House that would impose a deadline of 45 days to get a response to short sale requests. Since this whole short sale scenario started, it has been a headache for all parties involved in short sales. For distressed owners, it has been especially painful as many would-be buyers simply walked away rather than deal with the lenders unwieldy process that has been riddled with red tape, errors and uncertainty. It’s a shame that legislators didn’t take this action a couple of years ago. Read More


Inventory Emerging from the Shadows

March 25, 2011

You’ve probably heard the phrase “shadow inventory” –one of the terms from the recession dictionary. It refers to the inventory of homes that are either pending foreclosure (not current) or foreclosed homes not currently on the market but held in banks “assets.”According to National Association of Realtors, the states Arizona, Nevada, California and Florida make [...]

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What Homebuyers Want in 2011

March 20, 2011

Obviously a great deal is at the top of the list, and with so many homes on the market to choose from, the ones that have these traits are the ones that get the most activity: 1. Rock Bottom Bargains 2. Great Condition–in many instances, buyers do not want to invest their cash in improvements–the [...]

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Double Digit Rise in Rents

March 20, 2011

Something we knew was obvious— driven by families who lost their homes, the demand for rentals has increased and it follows that rents will rise along with that demand. According to a recent article in CNN Money, “In many markets, like Phoenix and Las Vegas, there are neighborhoods filled with recently built, single-family homes going [...]

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Another “What’s the REAL Story”

February 22, 2011

From the Wall Street Journal “Realtor Group May Have Overstated Number of Existing Houses Sold Since 2007″- they’re referring the the National Association of Realtors’ estimates that they develop and are supposedly used by economists to make important decisions. Believe me, no economist would use just one source on which to make important decisions. All [...]

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Good News/Bad News/Good News

February 18, 2011

There’s a silver lining in the home value decline cloud: affordability has returned to Phoenix Metro Area. In the markets that are undervalued, the list includes Phoenix. This has resulted in cash buyers and investors returning to the market–which is one of the reasons that the sales and pending sales has upticked (see my previous [...]

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Uptick in January Sales & Pending Sales

February 17, 2011

The January Metro Phoenix residential real estate sales increased over the previous three years. Pending sales from Jan 1 to Feb 1 also increased nearly 20%. All in all, this is encouraging to see. Here’s a snapshot of January sales– if you’re interested in the whole picture, you can see it here: Closings

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Two FHA-Approved Lenders Loosen Loan Standards

February 4, 2011

One of today’s hurdles to buy a home just got easier to jump–Wells Fargo and Quicken Loans will lend to applicants with FICO Scores of 580 and 3.5% down. This is a step forward for people whose FICO scores declined during the recession. Read all about FICO Scores here.

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Home Market: New Exit and Entrance Strategies

January 30, 2011

Hard to keep up with all of the real estate buzz terms nowadays—some are related to liquids like “under-water,” “siphoning” and “liquidity.” The latest phrase that is extensively used is the “New Reality”—to simplify it, short sales and foreclosure compete with regular homes for sale; home values in Metro Phoenix have declined; now a “renter’s [...]

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